Designed at a time of major reductions in the vessel complement of Starfleet, the Caledonia-class ships were a bold and costly experiment. Designed with the ability to regularly split into two sections, each capable of performing in combat situations, these ships were supposed to replace heavy cruisers in hazardous regions. Unfortunately, the reality did not live up to the promise, and of the four vessels constructed in the class, three were decommissioned within months. These ships showed dangerous design flaws in their Matter / Antimatter Reaction Assemblies, resulting in several emergency situations and even the destruction of the U.S.S. Cyprus.
The tale of the U.S.S. Cyprus is a particularly tragic one in the annals of Starfleet and Biraktes Shipyards. The Cyprus, fourth and final vessel constructed of the Caledonia-class, launched from Construction Bay 21-D on Stardate 28493.8 to perform her shakedown cruise. All systems appeared to be functioning normally when, three hours and seventeen minutes into her initial journey, the magnetic containment fields surrounding the antimatter pods failed abruptly, destroying the vessel in seconds. Eight hundred and thirty beings were aboard; no crewmembers had the chance to reach an escape vehicle. Subsequent Starfleet investigations revealed a previously unknown equipment incompatibility that had led to the containment failure. Beacuse of this failure, it was over thirty years before a ship capable of independent saucer separation and reunion was designed - the Galaxy-class explorers.
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This page was created on September 1, 1998.
Last modified on February 10, 2005.